October 2005

Artichoke Question

– Posted in: FAQ, Mailbag, Plant info, Vegetables

Denise Kemp writes: My brother-in-law gave me an artichoke plant this spring that was given to him. He told me that I need to lift the plant in the fall but didn't have any details on whether to take the leaves off or leave it in dirt or newspaper or what so I'm not sure [...]

Curiouser and Curiouser

– Posted in: Colchicums, Plant info

As you may be aware, the Northeast has been getting rained on for most of October. The rainy, warmer-than-typical October coming after the unusually hot and dry summer has made for some unusual plant activity: Many of the plants that went dormant or semi-dormant in the heat came back and produced another flush of bloom. [...]

A Reader Asks for Help

– Posted in: Garden chores, Mailbag

Kathy Dabb wrote: I have several clematis growing in my garden, and I would like to know what i need to do to winterize these plants. I also have dahlia tubers, hibiscus, and miniature mums that all need to be taken care of to get ready for winter. I live in Ironwood, Michigan on the [...]

Autumn Reprieve

– Posted in: What's up/blooming

I just wanted to mention how gangbusters my garden is going right now. Dahlias, Zinnias, and Cosmos, with some cool weather annuals making a return. I have been cutting bunches and bunches! How fun! My two greatest producers have been Mexican Sunflowers (Tithonia "Torch") and good old Mealy cup Sage (Salvia Farinacea). Both of these [...]

My Inheritance

– Posted in: From my files, Miscellaneous

This is a poem I wrote in college, 1978 or 1979. Stuffed Artichokes Paring knife in hand she trims the tough outer bracts, peels woodiness from the stem. I slice the top third off. Her thumb plumbs the center, pries the fleshy leaves apart. Grandma's hands apprentice mine: lacking the tongue and time of my [...]


– Posted in: Miscellaneous, Vegetables

It's NOT A CORNFIELD. Oh, how could you be misled? How could you be so uncouth, so uncivilized, as to not recognize it for what it is: a work of art. Sigh. Only in California* could 28 acres of growing, living Zea mays be not a cornfield! There are two things about this that really [...]

Back Upstairs

– Posted in: Miscellaneous, Weather

Renovations have progressed to the point where we are all sleeping upstairs in our bedrooms now. My DH and I were the last to move back upstairs, just two nights ago. Since we were sleeping in the living room and not in a tent, there was no point in moving back until he had finished [...]

Can you believe it?

– Posted in: Catalog review, Seeds and Seed Starting

I got my Thompson & Morgan seed catalog today. Talk about rushing the season! It's usually the first catalog to arrive, but I don't remember it ever coming this early. I must say, the 'Fruit Punch' Oriental poppies on the cover tempt me to break my vow of no more seed starting until the beds [...]